Archive | September, 2015

The Issue of Poverty Pt. II

15 Sep

Just returned from a 6-week stay in Jamaica… and as per usual the vibe and sentiment is the same.

I’m not going to complain about why there’s poverty or what government’s aren’t doing on this piece, because really and truly I’m tired of bitching about the same problems that are never solved. This blog is about APPRECIATION.

I have Giver’s Fatigue.  This is when you give, and give,.. and give and give and give from the heart… almost to the detriment of your own health and well-being. When your heart has been drained, your body, your emotions.. AND your pocketbook has also been diminished. And you are left completely depleted. People like me don’t think before they give. We give because we can, and because we feel empathetic to their situation. But it has occurred to me, time and time again, that while I’m giving and feeling all this empathy.. the people receiving aren’t necessarily feeling grateful or responsible for their behaviour that follows.

In Jamaica, and possibly other developing countries… there’s a sense of entitlement to presents and money when expats and family return. This movement is going to END. Not only do they expect the gifts, but they ask for gifts which are sometimes items I wouldn’t even buy for myself. Where do they think we pick up the money from? The money tree I guess. And when you give them presents,.. no expression of THANK YOU. None. They take it… use it… destroy it or finish it… and just keep wanting more. And NEVER in this process do they ever say, “Here Miss Staffeen… I picked this mango for you…” (because they’d never actually buy something) or “Here Mrs. Thompson, I got you a little something…” Nope. Nada.

I’m not saying to expats not to give, but like Ms. Honorine said… “Give when it’s convenient and logical for you to give…” I’m going one step further. Give only when it’s APPRECIATED. I don’t expect anything in return, except I do expect appreciation. Knowing that I didn’t just stumble upon this present, I actually went out and bought the thing with money that I have.

Sad, but I’m not giving anymore in that situation. I will be adjusting how it’s done. I’m done giving because my heart is heavy and I’m “soft,” as they say. I’ve been sucked dry from the expectation that life is difficult. Yes life is difficult everywhere. I have to start thinking about myself and build up my empire to support my family. I need to take care of myself. And I also realize when you give rewards for bad or undesirable behaviour, the behaviour doesn’t stop and it sends the wrong message. So the message will be altered as of now. Shift in the paradigm. It’s going to go the other way.

True, in theory, “Nobody has ever become poor by giving,” you may not become financially bankrupt, but you might become emotionally bankrupt. And that to me is worse than losing money.

time flies